JEROME - The Town Council Tuesday night took a step toward regulating the tour business within the town limits. The council reviewed a draft ordinance prepared by Bill Jensen, zoning administrator.
"A year or so ago, there were some complaints about the tour buses," Jensen told the council.
Jane Moore, former mayor and council member, said that in the past tours required a conditional-use permit.
"That's how planning and zoning dealt with it," Moore said.
She said that tours then started showing up and getting business licenses.
"This is a question of whose bailiwick this is in," said Councilman Lew Currier.
Bill Sims, town attorney, explained to the council that they probably should do an ordinance to regulate tours under the town code instead of zoning. He said that Proposition 207 significantly restricts the right of communities to regulate business through zoning ordinances. Land use is not a good way to control tours, he said.
"You need to document well public health and safety," Sims said. He also told the council that he thinks a tour business ordinance is the right thing to do. "I think it is enforceable."
Moore said that the town code prohibits commercial travel in residential neighborhoods.
Jensen pointed out that the town used to require tour bus applications to spell out the exact locations they would go to.
Sims again mentioned that Proposition 207 limited a town's ability to regulate.
Councilman Bill Phinney said that a business application for a tour company would have to give proposed routes and would have to be approved.
Currier suggested that the council end the discussion for now by giving direction to staff to review the draft ordinance and come up with a proposed ordinance.